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Combine Harvester on Field


Occupational Hygiene & Agriculture

In the last ten years, almost one person a week has been killed as a direct result of agricultural work. The most recent HSE agriculture industry ill-health statistics state that the number of people affected by asthma is twice the national average, and about 20,000 people are affected by zoonoses (diseases passed from animals to humans) each year.

In addition, agricultural workers may be exposed to extreme heat, cold, high humidity and radiation from direct and prolonged exposure to the sun.  They are also exposed to excessive vibration, noise and dust.  Farmers’ lung is a common form of the condition ‘allergic alveolitis’ and arises from the inhalation of dust or spores arising from mouldy hay, grain and straw.  Also people employed in the agricultural sector may have to handle a wide range of chemicals such as fertilisers or pesticides which can cause ill-health effects such as mild allergies, rashes, breathing difficulties, neurotoxicity and chronic diseases like cancer.

MEC offer you a combination of deep industry knowledge and technical expertise and are committed to providing our customers with the very best occupational hygiene service. We have over 20 years' experience supporting businesses in all sectors of industry and our expertise in recognising workplace health hazards and evaluating the magnitude of exposure means we can guarantee proportionate advice on how to control workplace health risks.  

The most recent 2020/21 HSE ill-health statistics for Great Britain state that: 


  • 1.7 million work-related ill health cases (new or long-standing)

  • 850,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health

  • 13,000 deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust

  • 142 workers killed at work *

  • 12,000 lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work

  • 0.8 million workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing)

  • 470,000 workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or longstanding)

  • 93,000 workers suffering with COVID-19 in 2020/21 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work 

  • 32.5 million working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2019/20

  • 10.6 billion annual costs of new cases of work-related ill health in 2018/19, excluding long latency illness such as cancer


The key objective when supporting our customer is to assist you in safeguarding employee health, ensuring your business remains productive whilst maintaining compliance with relevant regulations and guidance.  

We understand that investment in health at work is a fundamental requirement for a sustainable business and as such is regarded as an essential part of your operational management process. Managing risks in a sensible way protects your workers and your business and can bring the following benefits:

  • a reduction in short & long-term ill health effects and the resulting financial and personal costs

  • improved productivity, good morale and a happier, healthier workforce

  • better working practices to help develop a sustainable business

  • reduced sickness payments and recruitment/training costs for replacement workers

  • reduced loss of output resulting from experienced and competent workers being off work

  • lower insurance premiums and legal costs

  • reduced risk of damage to the reputation of the business

  • less chance of enforcement action and its associated costs

MEC work with our customers to manage employee health protection by recognising workplace health hazards, evaluating the magnitude of exposure and recommending, where necessary, improvements in control measures, work conditions and practices.

Over 20 years'


MEC offer a broad range of occupational hygiene services across all sectors of industry

 MEC Services

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T:  (01833) 631203